The Philadelphia Phillies have had issues with their starting pitching for the majority of the season. Coming into 2019, Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta seemed like sure things. Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez and Jerad Eickhoff haven’t done much to step up though, so the Phils have been forced to make moves to add Drew Smyly and Jason Vargas.
Aaron Nola has settled down since starting off the season a bit shaky. Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta has been battling a painful bone spur in his right elbow. He planned to pitch through it until it became too painful and it looks like we have gotten to that point. The veteran right-hander is headed to the injured list.
The Phillies are placing Jake Arrieta on the injured list. Logan Morrison will be available tonight.
— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) August 14, 2019
Taking Arrieta’s spot on the 25-man roster is Logan Morrison, who signed a minor league deal with the Phillies in July.
Phillies.com beat writer Todd Zolecki reports that Zach Eflin will start in place of Arrieta on Saturday against the San Diego Padres. As of Sunday, Arrieta wasn’t sure if he’d be undergoing surgery quite yet. While no decision has been made as to whether or not Arrieta will pitch again in 2019, he told the media prior to Tuesday’s game that his season is probably over. He’ll undergo an MRI on Thursday.
“I wanted to try and make it work for as long as possible while I could remain effective and help the team,” Arrieta said. “I think after my start in San Francisco, I realized I’m not able to give the team what it needs.”
Following Arrieta’s start in San Francisco, he mentioned that the bone spur limited his ability to throw off-speed pitches effectively.
“I lacked the ability to throw any off-speed for effect. They made me pay for that,” Arrieta said. “They waited me out. I threw the fastball pretty well, but when I needed to either get ahead or throw a breaking ball in a situation to get a swing and miss or weak contact or a called strike, I couldn’t do it.”
Arrieta is 8-8 with a 4.64 ERA, the worst its been since 2013.
Zach Eflin returns to the rotation for the first time since July 27, when he gave up six earned runs in 2.2 innings as part of a 15-7 loss to the Braves. He’s appeared in four games out of the bullpen since then, allowing one run in 5.2 innings, striking out seven. He is 7-11 with a 4.49 ERA this season.